On this day: Celtic champ Jo Jo White traded; Kevin McHale’s jersey retired

On this day in Boston Celtics history, Celtics champion point guard Jo Jo White was traded to the Golden State Warriors back in 1979 for draft considerations after a significant injury changed the course of his Hall of Fame career.

White was a member of the Celtics for ten seasons, and one of the best athletes ever to suit up for the storied franchise, particularly when it comes to endurance and availability. He played for the University of Kansas before turning pro and won a gold medal representing the United States of America in the 1968 Olympic Games that were played in Mexico City. Interestingly enough, White was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds and Dallas Cowboys as well as the Boston Celtics.

He spent a tour in the Marines before joining Boston, the rigors of which he attributed to his later success with the team.

Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Network.
Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Network.

White would win two championships with the Celts in 1974 and 1976 as well as six consecutive All-Star bids between 1971 and 1977.

He also was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team his first year in the league, All-NBA Second Team in 1975 and 1977, and was named NBA Finals Most Valuable Player in 1976.

(Photo by Frank O’Brien/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
(Photo by Frank O’Brien/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Injured towards the end of the 1977–78 season, White never returned to his elite level of play and was reluctantly dealt to the Warriors in the middle of the following season.

White’s streak of 488 consecutive games played is still a franchise record to this day.

Today also marks the anniversary of the retirement of Kevin McHale’s #32 in 1994, during the halftime of a game at the Boston Garden, a 106-94 victory over the Phoenix Suns.

McHale played 13 seasons in the NBA, all of them with the Celtics from 1980 to 1993, and won three NBA titles in 1981, 1984, and 1986.


He started off with the hardware early, making the All-Rookie team nod in 1981, All-NBA First Team in 1987, and was a seven-time NBA All-Star.

McHale earned NBA All-Defensive First Team nods three straight seasons between 1986 and 1988 as well as NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 1983, 1989, and 1990 among many other honors.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest forwards to play the game, he was elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999.

Dec 1981; USA; FILE PHOTO; Boston Celtics center Rick Robey (53) shoots against the <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Atlanta Hawks;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Atlanta Hawks</a>. Mandatory Credit: Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Network.

It is also the birthday of Celtics center Rick Robey, born this day in 1956 in Coral Gables, Florida.

An alum of Kentucky, Robey was taken by the Indiana Pacers in the 1978 NBA draft but would be dealt to Boston for Billy Knight the following January.

Robey would win a title with the Celtics in 1981, and averaged 8.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game with Boston over five seasons before he was dealt to the Phoenix Suns for Dennis Johnson.

Unknown Date & Location, USA; FILE PHOTO; Boston Celtics center (6) Bill Russell in action against the <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:New York Knicks;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">New York Knicks</a>. Mandatory Credit: Photo By Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, it was on this day in 1965, Celtics legend Bill Russell pulled down an astounding 38 rebounds to go with his 6 assists and 12 points,

It came during a 97-90 win over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire